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The Second Best Free Show in Philadelphia

My friend, Fred Moore, has been a prominent presence in a blue grass jam since shortly after it started in 1972. It has moved around over time, but these days it happens at the Hop Angel Brauhaus in Fox Chase, 7980 Oxford Avenue, starting at 8 PM on Thursday evenings. The website is

The best free show in Philadelphia, obviously, is the Mummers parade. There’s no way that 10 or 15 musicians performing weekly could compete with a cast of thousands who work all year to work up 12 hours of extraordinary performances. But the Holmsburg Jam happens reliably, every Thursday

I am not particularly a bluegrass fan. I lean more to jazz and classical music. But this jam works for me partly because the level of musicianship is so high and partly because of the joy that is evident on the faces of all the performers.

If you are alive to the pleasure of music making, check this out. You can’t go wrong.

Photo credit: Vince Masciarelli,Glenside,Pa.

John Buffington

July 2014